NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – It’s officially spring, but winter will be sticking around this week. New Mexico has been getting more snow than usual and it’s impacting the state from the ski resorts to the fire season.
New Mexico has been getting more snow than usual this time of year, and it’s a good thing. “We’ve been seeing a well above average snow pack developing across most of the state. Really, really most of the state,” says Andrew Mangham, Senior Service Hydrologist for the National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service says the heavy snowfall will help during the upcoming fire season. “The conditions are much more favorable to having a very calm fire weather season for us going into it. That means the fuels are wet, the ground is wet, and that helps mitigate some of the danger that we could see developing later on in April,” says Mangham.
The Weather Service says this year’s snow pack will benefit the water supply in the river basins. Once the snow melts they say it will be good news for farms. The Forest Service says that last summer’s above normal monsoon season produced lots of brush and vegetation that could potentially burn. However, they say that has been buried by the snow which in turn would delay potential fires.
The heavy snow is also impacting the ski resorts and giving them the opportunity to stay open longer. “All the areas have ample snow now to go through the end of their season. It’s just icing on the cake if you will. We’re gonna have more snow, people will be able to enjoy some fresh powder on top of our well-groomed trails,” says George Brooks, Executive Director for Ski New Mexico.
Red River and Angel Fire ski resorts are the only places that have closed for the season, but ski New Mexico says it’s due to lack of customers. They say their only concern is if they get too much snow on the roads. “With getting substantial amounts of snow, it can affect the roads to the ski area because we’re depending on the highway department to plow those roads,” says Brooks.
The Forest Service does warn that the plains and eastern slopes of the New Mexico mountains have a higher risk of fires this season, due to ongoing dryness in those areas.